PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island environmental officials are warning residents of the potential for unhealthy air quality as temperatures rise.

The state Department of Environmental Management says the poor air quality possible on Thursday afternoon and evening will be due to elevated ground level ozone concentrations

Ozone is a major component of smog and is formed by the photochemical reaction of pollutants emitted by motor vehicles, industry and other sources in the presence of elevated temperatures and sunlight.

Residents are being urged to help reduce air pollutant emissions by limiting car travel and charcoal lighter fuels.

Unhealthy levels of ozone can cause throat irritation, coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, increased susceptibility to respiratory infection and aggravation of asthma and other respiratory ailments.

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